Marc Andreessen: Calling 2011 Carl Icahn Back To The Future

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Marc Andreessen: Calling 2011 Carl Icahn Back To The Future
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Carl Icahn and eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) director Marc Andreessen just won’t leave each other alone. In the latest chapter of the saga, Andreessen has written another blog post on his Andreessen Horowitz website, saying that Carl Icahn from the year 2011 agrees with Marc Andreessen from the current time. He wonders why Carl Icahn from 2014 doesn’t agree.

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Carl Icahn defends his Forest Laboratories nominees

According to Andreessen, Icahn was fine with having “venture capital board members” back in 2011, but the activist investor doesn’t think they’re fine for eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) right now. Icahn said in his last letter that venture capital directors can’t be “trusted to objectively advise” any company’s board if there are potential conflicts.

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However, Andreessen points to some board nominees Icahn made for Forest Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:FRX) in 2011. Icahn defended his nominees against questions about whether they had conflicts of interest. He said that “potential conflicts of interest are by no means rare” and that technology and biotech companies are often funded by venture capital and that the venture capital firms “invariably put their own directors on the boards; and those directors or their firms often have direct and material conflicts of interest because they usually fund / control potentially competitive corporations as well.”

Icahn also referred to “standard practices” for dealing with potential conflicts of interest, as the affected directors recuse themselves from votes or decisions which could present a conflict. In today’s blog post, Andreessen questions why Carl Icahn of today disagrees with himself from three years ago:

“Why does Carl Icahn in 2014 think that Carl Icahn in 2011 was so obviously and blatantly engaged in terrible corporate governance?” he finished his post with.

How eBay got here

The battle between Carl Icahn and Marc Andreessen has been going on for days. Icahn accused Andreessen and other eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) directors of having too many conflicts of interest. He has taken a particular interest in the Skype transactions. An investor group which included Andreessen bought a portion of Skype, which was owned by eBay at the time, not long before Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) bought the whole thing.

It’s highly likely that we’ll see another shot fired by Icahn on the subject very soon.

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Michelle Jones is editor-in-chief for ValueWalk.com and has been with the site since 2012. Previously, she was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Email her at Mjones@valuewalk.com.
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